Justice

George Zimmerman Gets The Boot From Twitter After He Posted Revenge Porn

CREDIT: Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel via AP, Pool

George Zimmerman testifies in trial against Matthew Apperson, who was accused of shooting into Zimmerman's vehicle in May.

Florida resident George Zimmerman, who was acquitted for the shooting death of unarmed black teen Trayvon Martin, is no longer welcome on Twitter. The micro-blogging platform temporarily suspended Zimmerman’s account Thursday after doxxing and posting intimate photographs of a woman he claimed to be his former girlfriend, the Washington Post reported.

The posts included the woman’s name, phone number, email address and the accusation that she cheated on him with a “dirty Muslim.” Twitter suspended his account for revealing someone else’s personal information, including revenge porn, without expressed consent. The woman’s identity hasn’t been independently confirmed.

Since his 2013 acquittal, Zimmerman has made headlines for multiple run-ins with law enforcement. Zimmerman was also reportedly shot at by another Florida man, Matthew Apperson, who will stand trial for aggravated assault with a firearm, attempted murder, and shooting into an occupied vehicle.

He was arrested for reportedly striking a girlfriend with a wine bottle and charged with assault and domestic violence for striking the father of then-wife Shellie Zimmerman and threatening her with a gun.

Those charges were dropped but revenge porn could potentially be added to the list. Twenty-six states including Florida ban revenge porn — disseminating intimate, nude or partially nude photos without consent and often in retaliation — but vary in terms of how they define nudity and the intent of the poster to harass. Florida’s policy requires photos to depict sexual acts, the Washington Post reported.

Revenge porn has become an increasingly important political issue with states quickly moving to implement laws to discourage and criminalize the practice. But there is still a ways to go to ensure better digital privacy protections.

“We have tremendous protections when it comes to certain types of speech, intellectual property, or financial information, but when it comes to matters of a private or personal nature, there aren’t as many,” Carrie Goldberg, a sexual privacy attorney in New York and board member for the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, previously told ThinkProgress.

Prosecuting revenge porn is also difficult even when there are laws on the books. For example, California has revenge porn laws but Los Angeles resident Hunter Moore — the media-dubbed “revenge porn king” who operated the IsAnyOneUp site, which posted stolen nude photos of women — wasn’t charged under them.

Moore plead guilty to one count of computer hacking and was sentenced Wednesday to two years and a half years in prison, three years’ probation, and a $2,000 fine. Moore hired his co-defendant Charles Evans, who received a similar sentence, to hack email accounts for nude photos to post on the site.